ICSM Print Industry News: Creditors of Venn Holdings’ trading subsidiaries JDP and Culverlands Press are owed more than a staggering £8.8m

ICSM Print Industry News: Creditors of Venn Holdings’ trading subsidiaries JDP and Culverlands Press are owed more than a staggering £8.8m

By Harry Mottram: The printing industry’s trade website Print Week has published the financial fall-out details of the demise of the JDP and Culverlands Press which has left creditors millions of pounds out of pocket.

Journalist Jo Francis wrote: “Creditors of Venn Holdings’ trading subsidiaries JDP and Culverlands Press are owed more than £8.8m with the two businesses showing an estimated total deficiency of £4.4m – and major creditors have mobilised to appoint a liquidator of their choosing. A virtual meeting of creditors for John Dollin Printing Services – which trades as JDP – and sister company Culverlands Press was held on 16 January. The liquidators nominated by JDP and Culverlands director Anthony Thirlby were Chris Tate and Duncan Swift of Azets. However, a majority of creditors by value opposed the appointment of Azets and have instead appointed Evelyn Partners to handle the case. A SIP16 report and Statement of Affairs for the two companies were circulated by Azets prior to the meeting, and have been seen by Printweek.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM – the membership group dedicated to fighting bad debts and late payers with many members in the print and allied trades said: “This is a colossal amount of meney to owe. One shudders to think how many suppliers have been caught out by the insolvency and also by the loss of future business. As when a client goes bust – even if their supplier doesn’t get stung for unpaid invoices – it is like losing a customer to a rival.”

ICSM understands that cashflow was one of the main problems for the companies and an attempt to sell the business got nowhere. Both subsidiaries made a lost in the last figures of tens of thousands of pounds but had been in profit previously. Other factors listed by the administrators included interest repayments, rising electricity and raw material costs, machinery breakdown and ‘the loss of a £1m contract with biggest customer Carnival UK’.

In the SIP16 report said that the firms’ growth had led to financial problems and ultimate voluntary liquidation. Creditors included Skipton Business Finance who were owed £554,421 by Culverlands and £465,142 by JDP who also had an outstanding CBILS loan of £49,602 with Skipton. Jo Francis also reported that “The Culverlands filing includes a £161,724 CBILS loan with Funding Circle and Bounce Back Loan of £21,616 with HSBC.”

She reported that equipment suppliers and paper merchants were among the main creditors with ‘astonishing amounts of debt racked up’. There was also the tasteless and insulting news that creditors ‘criticised Thirlby and his wife Christina for jetting off on holiday to Abu Dhabi earlier this month, with copies of social media posts of the couple enjoying themselves widely circulating in the industry’.

Jo Francis reported: “One SME creditor whose company is owed a five-figure sum described the posts as ‘shameless and astonishingly inappropriate.’”

“Apart from the 30 staff who have lost their jobs the idea that directors can flaunt their private wealth on social media while suppliers are left high and dry is bad form,” said Ian Carrotte of ICSM. “If that report is true then it is pretty unacceptable in an industry that traditionally had high personal end ethical standards.”


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